April 5, 2014

Blacklisting Prop 8 supporters and gay-rights antagonists is perfectly analogous to the old blacklisting of Communists and Communist "sympathizers."

Isn't it? I'm inviting you to probe this analogy, which may be a good or great but not perfect analogy. Help me locate any possible lack of alignment between the 2 phenomena, for the purpose of close examination.

134 comments:

MnMark said...

I would say it is perfectly analogous to the hollywood blacklisting - denying people employment in their field because of previous (legal) political activity.

MayBee said...

The cause of Communism had been the impetuous for many bloody revolts worldwide. There was actually an existential threat associated with Communism at the time.

Russia and China had already lost millions, North Korea and Cambodia's killing fields were yet to come.

Anonymous said...

Yes, it doesn't matter if it is gay activists in general or Scott Walker specifically. It is still considered "blacklisting" and it is still wrong.

MnMark said...

It's not perfectly analogous to McCarthyism because that was the government seeking out possible Communist supporters in the government.

Here it's private industry responding to pressure to deny employment to people based purely on their political beliefs. That is like the Hollywood blacklist, which of course liberals refer to as a deeply significant historic wrong.

Lyle said...

No overt government involvement.

James said...

I imagine Prop 8 opponents might argue that Communists and Communist sympathizers weren't actively campaigning against human rights, whereas Prop 8 supporters were.

james conrad said...

Isn't it?
Yes, very similar.

Gahrie said...

The Prop 8 supporters were working within our political system to maintain the staus quo. The Hollywood Communists were acting outside our political system in an attempt to destroy our political system and effect radical change.

ddh said...

MnMark,

The Hollywood blacklist was instituted and enforced by studio executives and even the Screen Writers Guild, not by the US Government.

Anonymous said...

Lyle brings up a good point. The Hollywood witchhunt was due to an overreaching government, the Mozilla witchhunt is just the free marketplace working as intended.

Ron Nelson said...

The facts aren't analogous but the mythology is. International communism sought to undermine national sovereignty in favor of world-wide worker unity. Government officials who took an oath to preserve and defend constitutional government were seeking inconsistent goals if they were communists. Thus the inquiry was valid.

The mythology is that McCarthyites were merely thought police -- rough riding over personal political thought unrelated to their duties. So in that sense the attack on private beliefs of citizens is analogous to the myth, but not the reality.

Jon said...

"Gay rights antagonists"- not exactly a neutral framing.

Michael K said...

The Hollywood "Blacklist" was a reaction after the war to dominance by communists in the war-time Hollywood. Some people who were conservative for the time, like Robert Taylor, had real trouble resuming careers after they returned from the war. Read "Hollywood Party" or Red Star over Hollywood, both well researched.

PB Reader said...

I don't think it's evolved to that quite yet. Then it was merely the accusation that got you banned. However, many of those banned did get work but had to use different names. I don't think that would work today.

tds said...

- Commies were traitors in addition to supporting a particular ideology
- Prop8 supporters just have a different opinion

Renee said...

From wiki...

"The first systematic Hollywood blacklist was instituted on November 25, 1947, the day after ten writers and directors were cited for contempt of Congress for refusing to testify to the House Committee on Un-American Activities. A group of studio executives, acting under the aegis of the Motion Picture Association of America, fired the artists—the so-called Hollywood Ten—and made what has become known as the Waldorf Statement."

So it was a private group and they wanted employees that held their values.

FleetUSA said...

Great picture: The pensive professor questioning her students.

Ann Althouse said...

McCarthyites worried that media would deviously get out a pro-Communist message, but gay-rights people today don't worry that anti-gay-rights people are going to use media to get their anti-gay-rights message out.

It's more that the anti-gay-rights people are worried that the pro-gay-rights people have an agenda to get the pro-gay-rights message into the media, and maybe the pro-gay-rights people are interested in preventing the anti-gay-rights people from interfering with that agenda.

So… I want to think in terms of who has an insidious agenda and who's afraid that the other side has an insidious agenda and what they are willing to do about it.

chuck said...

Communists were controlled by the Comintern, based in Moscow. Its members were effectively agents of Soviet Imperialism, these days they are agents of Russian Imperialism. Communists were always at war with the Capitalist states even when they were not engaged in open warfare with tanks and machine guns. Think of it as atheist Jihad. So I think requiring Communists to register as agents of a foreign power was to acknowledge reality. Whether or not that justified blacklisting is another question, but one could justifiably argue that these folks were using their position to advance a hidden agenda.

I don't think Eich had a hidden agenda, was an agent of a foreign power, or exercised rights unusual for an American citizen. The attack on him was not a defensive move, but a political move made by folks after political and social power. So I'd say the attack on him was worse than the blacklisting of Communists. It smells more of the Dreyfus affair than of the cold war.

Skeptical Voter said...

Ms. Althouse that last comment of yours has my head spinning---wheels within wheels to the point of unintelligibility.

Is your point: "Who are we going to say has an "insidious" agenda?

Heckfire, both sides have an agenda. Who are you going to pin the label "insidious" on?

The Crack Emcee said...

Ann,

"Help me locate any possible lack of alignment between the 2 phenomena, for the purpose of close examination."

There is no "lack of alignment" - it's just something white Americans do:

"Anti-Communist charges were originally used to justify slavery,…"

It's a rube-ready, easy-access, distraction from the lack of morality and/or ethics of their own actions,...

Renee said...

Maybe I disagree with being called 'anti-gay' over a disagreement in marriage.

SMGalbraith said...

No but I understand the point.

The late Sidney Hook explained it quite well. He said: "Heresy yes, treason, no."

It was okay - or should have been - for Americans to believe in and embrace communism. That was protected speech and behavior.

What was not acceptable was their membership in an organization that was funded, directed and controlled by Moscow.

Many of the "Hollywood 10" weren't just communists, something that was their right. They were agents of the Soviet Union and used, as they were instructed to do so, their talents and skills to promote the Soviet line. They were told by Moscow not to testify. If Moscow told them to testify, they would have testified.

The Communist Party in that period was not just another political party that held radical beliefs.

The analogy is close but not close enough, I think.

Lucien said...

I think it may depend on the breadth and strength of the secondary boycott involved: i.e., boycotting those who are merely tolerant of the targeted individuals or groups, whether or not they share the verboten views.

OkCupid's action against Mozilla was in essence a secondary boycott, but it was only a single instance.

cubanbob said...

It's more that the anti-gay-rights people are worried that the pro-gay-rights people have an agenda to get the pro-gay-rights message into the media, and maybe the pro-gay-rights people are interested in preventing the anti-gay-rights people from interfering with that agenda. "

In the battle of the agendas there is going to be collateral damage.

Mark Stoler said...

It is an imperfect analogy.

The Mozilla CEO contributed legally to a referendum on a public policy issue - a referendum passed with the support for more than 7 million voters. According to Mozilla's Board Chairman she was surprised to hear of his support for Prop 8 since there was nothing in his job performance to indicate any animus towards gay people. Therefore his political views did not impact has job performance.

The case of a Communist Party member in Hollywood is different. First, their membership in the party was secret (unlike members of the Socialist Party which itself was strongly anti-communist.) Second, the party was under the direction of a foreign power dedicated to the overthrow of the US government and they were under "party discipline" requiring them to follow that line (for instance, on June 21, 1941 they advocated against US entrance into the war against the Soviet Union's Nazi ally; on June 22, 1941 they advocated for immediate entry of the US into the war against the Nazis). Third, as we now know from testimony of ex-party members as well as from records that became public after the fall of the Soviet Union, the Hollywood communists followed instructions to insert themes into film that supported the official line of the Soviet Union.

cubanbob said...

I imagine Prop 8 opponents might argue that Communists and Communist sympathizers weren't actively campaigning against human rights, whereas Prop 8 supporters were.

4/5/14, 11:13 AM"

Yes indeed. A bunch of Stalinists were all in favor of human rights.

jimbino said...

Wow. Blacklisted pinkos were denied work in film, fired from Harvard and Stanford, and sentenced to prison terms. Good for Mexico, bad for the knee-jerk fanatics of Harvard and Stanford.

I'm proud of my Alma Mater, University of Chicago, which protected its pinkos more than the other universities.

The saddest chapter there was the persecution of George Anastaplo:

http://www.law.uchicago.edu/alumni/accoladesandachievements/chicago-tribune-obituary-george-anastaplo-51

Hell, I'm only a rocket scientist and nuclear physicist. I suppose Amerika will prefer to promote me to head its rocket program before persecuting me and forcing me to move to Mexico, Brazil, N Korea, Cuba, Iran and other interesting places.

The USSA is a country stupid as hell.

Michael K said...

"McCarthyites worried that media would deviously get out a pro-Communist message,"

It was no "McCarthyites" but others in Hollywood and the film industry who were reacting to the dominance by the communists, not just "the left" during the war and late 30s. If you want an example, consider what happened whenHitler and Stalin signed their treaty that freed Hitler's hands to invade France in 1940 ?

The Kissinger rule applies. Look at what some people did and what they did when Hitler invaded the USSR two years later. The communists went from "The Yanks are NOT Coming" to "Second Front Now !" in a few days. Lillian Hellman's play Watch on the Rhine" was an example.

Hellman wrote the play in 1940, following the Nazi-Soviet Non-Aggression Pact of August 1939. Its call for a united international alliance against Hitler directly contradicted the Communist position at the time.[3] Its title comes from a German patriotic song, "Die Wacht am Rhein".

In fact, it was written BEFORE the Nazi-Soviet pact and after, she was under great pressure to repudiate it. The play was saved by the invasion of the Soviet Union which made antiNazi sentiment acceptable again.

Saint Croix said...

There really were Communist spies in the USA. And also there were innocent people who were accused of being Communists, but were not.

There are no traditional marriage spies in the USA.

Communists killed 100 million people in the 20th century.

Traditional marriage supporters haven't killed anybody. Even if we expand our definition to "homophobes" or "Christians," there is no mass murdering backdrop.

Communists have a flag, an ideology, a book they read. Traditional marriage supporters don't have any of that.

Diogenes of Sinope said...

Bottom line, both are purposeful active efforts to suppress political speech.. During the Cold War, communism was a real mortal threat to the west; opposition to gay marriage poses no such threat.

David said...

It's an interesting question, and I don't have time to think it through now, but . . .

legal activity vs. (in some cases) allegedly illegal and seditious

accurate characterization vs. false, misleading or even dishonest characterization of some communists

Government investigators/persecutors vs. private persecution by intimidation

supposedly encouraged activity (debate of public issue) vs. allegedly illegal activity (conspiracy against government)

Right wing defending freedom of belief (now) vs. left wing defending freedom of belief (then) (but it wasn't that stark or simple)

Domestic issue vs. foreign fears

(But some things are the same):

Public apathy vs. public apathy

Hollywood cowardice vs. Hollywood cowardice

Media amplification vs. media amplification

Preliminary notes only. The current climate feels worse to me. It could be that's just because it's current. But there was lots of pushback against McCarthy and the earlier commie hunters, and not just from the left. I'm waiting for the lefties to speak up here. (I do not consider Andrew to be a lefty.)

David said...

madisonfella said...
Lyle brings up a good point. The Hollywood witchhunt was due to an overreaching government, the Mozilla witchhunt is just the free marketplace working as intended.


Do you believe that the judiciary is part of the government? Your statement makes sense only if you do not.

James said...

So… I want to think in terms of who has an insidious agenda and who's afraid that the other side has an insidious agenda and what they are willing to do about it.

Certainly the pro-gay-rights group thinks the anti-gay-rights group has an insidious message. That's clear enough from the propaganda wars, right?

If the anti-gay-rights group is allowed to flourish or persist, they'll continue to try to deny basic human rights to gays (or so the argument goes). To secure those rights against future assault, you need to stigmatize and shun the anti-gay-rights groups.

While the media is a tool for both sides, given how much the anti-gay-rights groups complain about pro-gay messages in television, I'd guess the pro-gay side is winning that war.

Paco Wové said...

Althouse:

I'm sorry, but the second paragraph in your 11:33 comment is incoherent, and as far as I can tell misses the analogy completely.

I don't think anybody's being 'insidious' here. The people who drove and supported this action are quite up-front – conform or be punished.

MayBee said...

The pro-gay rights crowd has already succeeded in getting its message into the media. They want to keep the anti gay marriage (not rights) people from having that opinion. The anti-gay marriage people are already unable to interfere with getting their message into the media, and hardly anyone is even interested in doing that.

The pro gay marriage people (and many with minority opinions) believed they should have freedom of speech because they were actually correct. Thus, once they get a chance to control speech, they want to shut the door behind them. The *other* people don't need freedom of speech anymore because *they* are wrong.

rhhardin said...

I've only been blacklisted by various female-run blogs (for misogyny) and one warmist climate blog (for ignorance).

Ann Althouse said...

My use of "insidious" — which means "Full of wiles or plots; lying in wait or seeking to entrap or ensnare; proceeding or operating secretly or subtly so as not to excite suspicion; sly, treacherous, deceitful, underhand, artful, cunning, crafty, wily." — refers to the kind of Communist message McCarthyites believed was being put into movies.

I think these days, anti-gay-rights people fear that pro-gay-rights people are sneakily inculcating their message. I don't think anyone seriously fears that anti-gay messages are being deviously conveyed through moves and TV and so forth.

Rather, the media is dominated by the pro-gay people who are open about their values, which is noninsidious, so that's a distinction from the McCarthy analogy, because the old Commies of yore were being secretive, since they were being persecuted.

Don't confuse "insidious" with "invidious," which refers to ill will.

I'm not interested in the comparison of the 2 things in the analogy on the ground that one or the other or both are invidious, but maybe some of you are.

Ann Althouse said...

Maybe you see me as incoherent because I think it is possible to be open about a social/political value and to also pursue and secretive program of inculcating that value.

But I think it clearly is. For example, a teacher might be politically active, giving public speeches and going to rallies and writing op-eds or blogging or whatever, and also claim to be performing her classroom role in a neutral, professional manner that is absolutely for the benefit of the students and scrupulously eschewing any inculcation of that value.

A moviemaker could similarly attend political fundraisers and speak on behalf of politicians, but make movies -- maybe movies for children -- that seem to have no political message but -- if you could read the sneaky symbolism -- actually infects the minds of viewers with the political ideas that weren't supposed to be in the movie and that political enemies sound paranoid pointing out.

richardsson said...

I think the comparison between Mozilla and the Hollywood Ten can be narrowly made. But, the Hollywood Ten incident took place within a broader context of actual Soviet spies at high levels of the Roosevelt Administration and the stealing of the Atomic "secrets" (as one scientist put it "these were not secrets, these were physics.") It also took place in the context of the horrors of the Stalinist regime became widely known. Those were much scarier times. But, some groups in our country today seem bent upon politicizing everything, much as the totalitarian communists did in the 20th Century. Beware. What goes around can easily come around.

The Godfather said...

I have supported gay rights for years largely because I believe that people ought to be allowed to behave as they chose unless they violate the rights of others. "Gay rights" activists who seek to impose speech codes, who brand all disagreement as "hate", who would deny employment to someone because he disagrees with them -- such people violate the principles of freedom as much as did the late Fred Phelps. I condemn them, and I hope that other true supporters of gay rights will do so, too.

Hari said...

If at about the same time, Eich had made a political donation to a campaign seeking to end the tax benefits and other preferential treatment for married couples (which then would have only applied to heterosexuals) does anyone doubt that he would still have his job?

Paco Wové said...

Althouse:

your reply makes it clear to me that we are talking past one another. However, I have to deal with some other matters out in the physical world, so I will not be able to continue at this point.

By the way, "anti-gay-marriage" and "alarmed by what happened to Brendan Eich" are not congruent sets, though there's probably a lot of overlap.

Zach said...

To the extent that the Communist Party was organized like a regular political party, the analogy is good. That's the usual picture of McCarthyism, and the Eich episode brings back very specific and uncomfortable images from the McCarthy era.

However, the Communist Party of the USA had both legal and illegal arms, and was often operated in such a way as to blur the difference or establish deniability. So someone like Robert Oppenheimer was technically not a card-carrying communist, because he carried no official membership card. But he did donate sums much larger than the membership fee to front organizations. Haakon Chevalier (a card-carrying Communist) approached him during the Manhattan Project and told him that the Soviet Government would be very interested in receiving any information he could give them.

In that particular case, the legal political arm and the illegal espionage arm of the Communist Party were the same thing. However, there was a much larger category of people whose interactions with the Party were simply political or idealistic. And of course, there was a much, much larger group of people who had no real interaction with the Communists, but had been drawn in left-wing directions through their experiences in the Depression.

The problem with McCarthyism is that the few legitimate or borderline cases were used to justify oppressing a larger group of people who were not really legitimate or borderline (such as the Hollywood blacklist, or requiring people to sign loyalty oaths that renounced communism as a condition of keeping their job), in the interests of influencing or intimidating the much, much larger group of people who were leftist, but had no connection to illegal activities at all. This is the sense in which purging Eich is McCarthyist, and here I think the analogy is perfect.

mccullough said...

I thought the Red Scare encompassed two main issues: communists working for the US government, especially in the State Department like Alger Hiss, and the general spread of communist ideology through Hollywood films and academia and the media.

The blacklist part comes from the reaction of institutions, mainly studios and universities, to the suspected communists in their industry.

What's never clear to me is whether people were against blacklisting because of the inability of the accused to defend themselves and the weak basis of the accusation or whether blacklisting was wrong because people had the right to be communists and shouldn't be punished for their beliefs.

I think a lot of those who castigated the blacklisting believed it was okay to be a communist but took issue with the process of accusation because it was something a lot of people can agree with.

Here, the Mozilla CEO wasn't falsely accused of supporting what he believed. Neither were the Hollywood Ten. If it is okay to blacklist the CEO for his beliefs, then it was ok to blacklist the Hollywood Ten.

jr565 said...

One difference between the Hollywood ten and te fight over gay marriage is that we weren't having a Cold War with Christians.
And prop 8 was democracy in action. It wasn't like prop 8 list. The majority of Californians voted for it.
So to punish someone for supporting the majority position is crazy. It was only overturned by activist judges. Otherwise it's the will of the people at the time.
Do you think the 7 million who voted for prop 8 should have their livelihood threatened?
Also, wasn't prop 8 itself a response to activist judges over ruling the wishes of the people?

Ann Althouse said...

"By the way, "anti-gay-marriage" and "alarmed by what happened to Brendan Eich" are not congruent sets, though there's probably a lot of overlap."

Well, I'm clearly pro-gay marriage and alarmed by what happened to Brendan Eich. So is Andrew Sullivan.

Anglelyne said...

I liked this post because it's always a good idea to get people to think rigorously about the aptness of their analogies. But nobody here is using the aspects of "McCarthyism" that you've lit upon to make the analogy in your comments - they're referring to quite distinct (and easily distinguished) aspects to make a different analogy. You're invoking a group ("anti-gay-rights people who are concerned about insidious pro-gay messages in the media) that doesn't even necessarily overlap with the group of people under discussion ("people who are disturbed when someone is fired for his political views").

If people are conflating these two analogies and groups then yeah, that's gonna confuse the argument. But who's doing that?

And here...

Don't confuse "insidious" with "invidious," which refers to ill will.

I'm not interested in the comparison of the 2 things in the analogy on the ground that one or the other or both are invidious, but maybe some of you are.

...you're just talking to yourself.

Gahrie said...

"Anti-Communist charges were originally used to justify slavery,…"

God damn it Crack...not every issue in the world is an example of the White man opressing you.

Don't you get tied of your schtick? the rest of us do.

Stephen A. Meigs said...

Points of difference:

Presumably the vast majority of people McCarthy accused of Communism in the State Department were not Communists and had never been Communists. I don't see anyone doubting that Eich was against gay marriage.

McCarthy was against Communism, which was bad and which the vast majority of Americans realized was bad. On the other hand, about half of Americans believe that being against gay marriage is good, and in fact being against sodomy is good.

McCarthy wasn't much simultaneously arguing that it should be illegal to fire people because they are fascist or have some other sort of extreme anti-leftist position, whereas gay people do tend to argue that it should be illegal to fire someone because they support the sodomy lifestyle, whence their support of Title VII protections for gays and their support of ENDA. With a few exceptions, the gay movement is more hypocritical than McCarthy and more against free speech, since in fact it wants legal restrictions prohibiting those who hold their particular strong political opinion from being fired for that opinion, while they are all for firing (and being allowed to fire) people who don't hold their opinion.

damikesc said...

The Hollywood witchhunt was due to an overreaching government, the Mozilla witchhunt is just the free marketplace working as intended.

Government wasn't involved with the blacklist, either. Sorry.

It's more that the anti-gay-rights people are worried that the pro-gay-rights people have an agenda to get the pro-gay-rights message into the media, and maybe the pro-gay-rights people are interested in preventing the anti-gay-rights people from interfering with that agenda.

I wouldn't say that. We've seen people fired for disagreeing with them. We've seen florists and bakers forced to work for gay marriage if they oppose it.

Most of us are happy to agree to disagree. The gay rights activists seem less willing to do so.



BDNYC said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Tamaay said...

Corporations are people my friend, they get to engage in free speech too, when they fired Eich they spoke. Not saying it was the right thing to do, but corporations aren't saints, they're sinners like the rest of us humans.

BDNYC said...

One difference: sympathy for communism was not a dominant viewpoint in America a decade before the Hollywood blacklisting and McCarthy hearings.

Naut Right said...

James @ 11:13 said "human rights". That is perfect for Ninth Amendment purposes. Many human rights are denied, abridged or regulated by statute. If gay marriage is a human right and gets either codified and/or established as jurisprudence we should embrace the Ninth Amendment implications and pry open that gift box. That's a Pandora's box for lefties and statists. Let's turn their own strategies on them.
Ann said "probe". Was that a natural expression or did she spend some time constructing a funny?

Alex said...

So hating an entire class of people is analogous to wanting to change the means of production? Communists never hated whole classes of people.

Alex said...

Besides what's the problem for the bigots? They have Rush, Hannity, NRO, Koch Brothers and cable access TV.

DKWalser said...

Professor - The "insidious agenda" of the pro-SSM brigade is to shut down debate. They believe they've won (as all the polls agree) and their goal now is to delegitimize the other side. In part, they are achieving this goal by a continuation of their tactic of labeling those who disagree with them as bigots. Few people want to be thought of as bigots, so the tactic of labeling the other side as bigots has been effective in moving public opinion. (This is one of the most pernicious effects of some of the pro-SSM court opinions that have said that denying same-sex couples the ability to marry was motivated by nothing but bigotry. That's simply untrue. There are many rational reasons for opposition to SSM; the court's denial of the existence of these reasons makes the status of bigotry "official".)

What happened to Eich is different in that he's being used as an example of the cost of expressing a disapproved opinion. Eich was no threat to SSM. His "violation" was years ago at a time when his was the majority opinion. He still had to be punished so that the pro-gay groups could demonstrate their power to destroy. The ultimate goal being to shut down any expression of a counter opinion through intimidation.

This is insidious and invidious because they loudly proclaim their support of free speech. They just also claim the right to impose a cost for speech they do not like. Actively imposing costs (loss of job, violence, property damage, etc.) for the expression of wrong opinions is inimical to free speech. The two cannot co-exist. Gay rights groups are not after tolerance of their values. They demand their opponents espouse pro-gay values -- or be destroyed.

RecChief said...

since communists were enemies of the American way of life, then no, I don't think it is perfectly analogous. Prop 8 supporters, no matter what you think of them, are not enemies of the United States.

Very much similar though

Ralph Hyatt said...

anti-gay marriage bigots are bad, but communists are good?

Seriously, I really don't see much difference between the two situations.

In both cases free speech is being sacrificed cause, "the other side is bad."

Perhaps this is why so many people are outraged by this behavior. Hollywood has spent decades deriding the blacklists as a horrible injustice that ruined peoples lives for exercising their free speech rights.

They screwed up. While the schools were busy imposing speech codes to get the kids used to having speech regulated, the Hollywood establishment kept propagandizing for free speech.

Now people see new blacklists being created. And they know there is a very strong possibility they could end up on one.

People are going to react to that. They have to react to that.

Now many on the left are saying that it isn't a free speech issue. That the government was not involved. He lost his job because of free association and free market.

The operative phrase is, "he lost his job."

Threatening peoples livelihoods is not a winning strategy in the long run. If the majority of people start thinking that they are at risk of losing their jobs because they held believes that were completely innocuous 5-10 years ago and even now are held, if not by a majority, at least a near majority then they are going to start looking for ways to safeguard themselves.

Andrew Sullivan is correct. This is really stupid.

bbkingfish said...

I normally expect a thundering indifference from the right when companies decide to fire people. Their concern in this case reminds me of Mitt Romney's observation that, "The firing of one man is a tragedy; the firing of a million men is a statistic."

John Stodder said...

You seem to think Eich's position represents no-harm/no-foul to anybody else, it's just one man, all by his lonesome, exercising his free speech rights and then being oppressed unfairly.

The consequences of speech are what this is about. Eich put money behind a plan to take legal rights away from a group of people because they're gay. But it's the pushback to that that we're supposed to disapprove of.

If I went to church and stood up at the end of a sermon and said, "Anyone who believes in God and the divinity of Jesus is an idiot," my presence would quickly be unwelcome, and it would not be surprising if many of the parishioners would request that I leave. That's a better analogy. The high-tech world is, by and large, friendly to gays, especially in California. Clearly, someone with such beliefs creates a problem that is best addressed through separation. It's not a "blacklist." It's a preference.

If somehow I had risen to CEO of company that makes guns, and it turns out I had donated money to, say, Charles Schumer, the customers of that gun company would say, "I don't care if he's a genius, we want him out." The culture shift toward gay marriage, while not universal, has certainly engaged the tech industry, and in that industry, such beliefs are just not going to fly anymore.

That's all this is.

The Crack Emcee said...

Gahrie,

"God damn it Crack...not every issue in the world is an example of the White man opressing you."

If you can prove I'm wrong, then do so, but I think - considering this nonsense took up most of the country's history - I don't think you can.

Welcome to the oppressive system you deny exists:

Everybody's communist but you,..

Anonymous said...

Althouse,

Refer back to your recent post about why today's liberals don't seem to support free speech. It is the same exact thing here.

When their opinion is in the minority, modern liberals claim freedom of speech and conscience as universal, almost holy principles. Conservatives respect that because they agree with those principles. The second liberal views pass a certain threshold of acceptance - all tolerance flies out the window and the mantra becomes "Shut up or we'll destroy you."

I have become as pessimistic as Pogo regarding the future here.

Anonymous said...

Government wasn't involved with the blacklist

"The first systematic Hollywood blacklist was instituted on November 25, 1947, the day after ten writers and directors were cited for contempt of Congress for refusing to testify to the House Committee on Un-American Activities."

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hollywood_blacklist

Tell me again how Congress has no involvement with government.

Lydia said...

Alex said: Communists never hated whole classes of people.

I guess you've never heard of the kulaks.

Steven said...

Communists never hated whole classes of people.

Oh, yeah, sure, the people who openly advocated class warfare never hated whole classes of people. Just ask the aristocrats, the bourgeoisie, or the kulaks.

Abdul Abulbul Amir said...


Communists murder millions.

Tom said...

Free Speech is a right and first principle. The gay rights folks can not see they're attacking the very right and principle that allowed them continued victories. Of course, communism also sought to benefit from free speech. However, communist ideologies also sought to destroy this right. I don't think the gay rights movement wants to kill free speech - but it definitely went overboard in this case.

Anglelyne said...

John Stodder - John, you really need to sit down and have a good hard think about the logical fallacies of "straw man" and, even more so, petitio principii. Just about every other statement you make on this issue is awash with it.

E.g.: You seem to think Eich's position represents no-harm/no-foul to anybody else, it's just one man, all by his lonesome, exercising his free speech rights and then being oppressed unfairly.

Where the hell did this "no harm/no foul" premise come from? You're projecting your own axioms and assumptions about moral judgment on people who simply don't share them. Nobody is arguing that contrary political views should be tolerated because they couldn't possibly do anybody any harm ever. Ffs, you think we have a First Amendment because we think free speech will always be innocuous? (I mean, aside from the fact that this isn't really about free speech or any other "right", strictly speaking. I think Mozilla is perfectly within its rights to sack Eich.)

The consequences of speech are what this is about.

Say what? Says who? And there are all kinds of consequences to speech and to restricting speech. Which ones are you invoking?

Eich put money behind a plan to take legal rights away from a group of people because they're gay.

In the name of all that is decent, John. Petitio principii. AKA "begging the question". Look it up.

Dude, we know that you believe that "gay marriage" falls under "equal protection". That's what the big argument is all about - the fact that other people don't agree with your assumption that it is an equal protection matter. If we all already agreed that it fell under "equal protection", we wouldn't be having the friggin' argument in the first place.

But not only do I already know that's what some people believe, I know why they believe that, and I understand why they believe it. I just don't agree with them. It'd be nice if you could make an attempt to just get to freakin' stage 1 here.

But it's the pushback to that that we're supposed to disapprove of.

No, John. No. Not. even. wrong.

A couple of us mentioned Jonathan Haidt in another active thread. What a lovely example you are of his observation of a key difference between "conservative" and "liberal" thought processes.

Ralph Hyatt said...

"The consequences of speech are what this is about. Eich put money behind a plan to take legal rights away from a group of people because they're gay. But it's the pushback to that that we're supposed to disapprove of."

Yep, pretty much. Because tactically it is a huge mistake.

If you don't provide your opponent an honorable means of surrender then they have no other choice but to fight to the end.

They can't surrender, so they no longer have anything to lose.

You seem to think that this thing is pretty much wrapped up.

And it pretty much was. But now, not so much.

Because now people who would have shrugged and though, "what business is it of mine what consenting adults do in the privacy of their own homes?"
People who, in Alabama, applauded when two guys got engaged in public, are now thinking, "when do I go on the blacklist? When do I lose my job?"

Anonymous said...

The people defending the persecution of Eich's speech seem to have a great deal invested in portraying the persecution as a direct result, a "consequence", of the speech, rather than a volitional act on the part of the persecutors. Perhaps they're not quite as confident of the rightness of that volitional act as they let on.

SMGalbraith said...

Communists just wanted to "change the means of production"?

Now that's funny.

Yep, that's what Stalin and Mao did. Just banned private property.

gadfly said...

Choice of the word "blacklist" is as prejudicial now as it deliberately was in the late 1940s and early 1950s at the time of the HUAC hearings on Communism. Throw in the made-up word "McCarthyism" provided by the liberal press and you have succeeded in accomplishing an implementation of Alinsky's Rules #4 and #13.

But M. Stanton Evans' recent revisionist biography of the late Wisconsin Senator has another conclusion:

In recent years, stunning revelations from archives in Washington and Moscow have confirmed that McCarthy’s investigations – and those conducted by other officials before and after – netted not innocent and imaginary “witches,” but secret cadres of hardened Communist agents determined to bring down the American republic. Surely, this makes Joe McCarthy a great patriot and deserving “the plaudits of a grateful nation.”

The Godfather said...

@BDNYC you said "One difference: sympathy for communism was not a majority viewpoint in America a decade before the McCarthy hearings."

Actually, because the USSR was our most important ally in the Second World War, a lot of Americans were led (by government propaganda as well as by Hollywood) to believe that communism wasn't all that bad. Stalin was "Uncle Joe" and all that. Some people who had become sympathetic to communism during the Depression, who compared the apparent success of the Soviet regime to the failure of the Roosevelt administration to restore prosperity, readily became supporters of communism while Russia was our ally. The start of the Cold War, before the last bodies of the hot war were cold, caught many of these people unprepared.

I am not excusing Alger Hiss and his ilk or the Hollywood 10. I think Althouse's suggestion that there's a similarity between the firing of Eich and the blacklisting a bunch of Hollywood reds, is simplistic -- but it has generated some interesting commentary, which is really the point, isn't it?

Michael said...

Crack

Your cause has been swept off the front page by the more urgent topic of the oppression of gays by heterosupremicists. Your moment has faded.

You might try and join forces with the gay comunity to combat white/hetero supremacy but I am not so sure your two "communities" communicate all that well. In fact, as I remember correctly, the stance of the black community with respect to Prop 8 was at odds with the right side of history. Haters.

Unknown said...

Cracedy sez...Welcome to the oppressive system you deny exists:

Everybody's communist but you,..

I am so confused here. Were the Slaveholders communists? I guess since they owned the means of production.

Crack, you are a classic!


Michael said...

Ralph Hyatt

One further thought is that CEOs will be loathe to employ those cohorts, "communities'" that can turn on her.
Better to be safe and steer clear.

R. Chatt said...

Maybe this issue of the firing of the CEO is being expanded beyond its scope. If any company wants to force out or fire a CEO they should have that right if she/he is no longer deemed an effective leader because her/his beliefs are offensive to a large percentage of the employees. Being forced out could be for any reason: a vegan health food company discovering that the CEO also raised cattle for consumption, etc. Not that they were trying to prevent the CEO from that activity but that they did not want to associate with or be lead by someone who would do that. I understand that's more or less what happened at Mozilla.

Many great comments here have already delineated the historical differences between the Communists and their agenda and pro gay marriage (gay mafia?) advocates better than I could.

I would only add that the US courts have already found that gay rights are just legitimate rights for US citizens, so gay rights advocates are supporting the ideals of the USA, not attempting to subvert or destroy the country.

The fears of the prop 8 supporters are that their religious beliefs will be superseded by the civil law and homosexuality will become normal. However the difference with the Communists’ agenda is that no one is going to be forced to become gay or change their religious beliefs, just don't impose them on others. Taking wedding photographs of a lesbian couple doesn't mean you are advocating for homosexuality anymore than a Jewish grocer selling bacon means negating keeping kosher.

Frankly, religions change, as horrible as that might seem to people who believe their religion is “God’s will.” Most Christians don’t blame Jews for killing Christ anymore and don’t burn down Jewish neighborhoods to retaliate. Homosexuals don’t have to be shunned, it’s not contagious.

PS. I find myself sympathetic to some of Crack’s comments as I am horrified at what happened after slavery was abolished and attitudes towards blacks continued. It’s one thing to be treated badly when people think you are a piece of property, but after the law and society has recognized you as an equal human being it’s unconscionable to be treated as an inferior. I think a lot of LGBT feel the same way.

Anonymous said...

I just have to say, one of the reasons I come to this blog is for the comments.

And among those I really enjoy reading is Anglelyne.

Let's just hope that no one ever finds themselves on the bad end of the Mozilla stick for the views they share on Althouse.

For there do seem to be some commentators here who would find it perfectly acceptable for us to be punished for our opinions that we've shared here. Although I think it's just one way. For example, I don't know anyone here who disagrees with Crack who would say that Crack ought to suffer for his views on Whites. On the other hand, I wouldn't be surprised to find that there are those who agree with Crack that Whitey is racist, that would wish harm on those who disagree with Crack.

This blog offers quite the lesson in the differing sides viewpoints. Thank you for the Althouse.

Fen said...

When I'm boss, any woman who has had an abortion or supported abortion will be fired.

Michael K said...

"Blogger Alex said...
So hating an entire class of people is analogous to wanting to change the means of production? Communists never hated whole classes of people."

Except Kukaks, of course, but they didn't count because they were rich peasants and SHUT UP

Michael K said...

""The consequences of speech are what this is about. Eich put money behind a plan to take legal rights away from a group of people because they're gay. But it's the pushback to that that we're supposed to disapprove of."

The left seems not to understand that this guy made Netscape work. Javascript was what made browsers interactive with web pages.

I wonder how they will do without someone of that caliber in charge. Probably about as well as other lefty operations, like Obamacare.

rcocean said...

The primary goal of CP Hollywood in the 1930s/1940s was not to sneak Karl Marx into latest Bette Davis film. It was to:

1) Prevent any anti-communist or anti-USSR film from being made.
2) To attack Fascism and Reactionaries
3) To push themes and viewpoints that Liberal and Communists agreed upon.
4) To network and have communists hire fellow communists whenever possible.
5) To gain control of the Film unions.
6) The use the union dues and contributions by party members to finance CPUSA activities.

During WWII the commies were able to make some explicitly Overt Pro-USSR movies but even that was done with Liberal approval.

John Stodder said...

Angelyne, others on this thread have praised your writing and intelligence. I'm sorry, I've read what you said to me, and I'm not seeing it. Your argument, no matter how elegantly phrased, comes down to, "I don't like gay marriage." Which only proves that it's not unanimous. But my argument was that, the culture has moved to a place where, taking the position that are taking is equated by a large number of people to oppression of a minority by depriving them of equal protection. You can bravely fight on for your position, but my observation is, you are losing the battle, especially among the college-educated such as the people who would work at a place like Mozilla.

As a NY Times technology blogger wrote yesterday, "Like all software companies, Mozilla competes in two markets. First, obviously, it wants people to use its products instead of its rivals’ stuff. But its second market is arguably more challenging — the tight labor pool of engineers, designers, and other tech workers who make software.

"When you consider the importance of that market, Mr. Eich’s position on gay marriage wasn’t some outré personal stance unrelated to his job; it was a potentially hazardous bit of negative branding in the labor pool, one that was making life difficult for current employees and plausibly reducing Mozilla’s draw to prospective workers."


In another thread on this topic, in response to Althouse's apparent alarm over this matter, I suggested it was sui generis. The hard core right sees looming McCarthyism, as if every politically incorrect position taken by an executive will result in his or her firing. She points to a similar comment by Andrew Sullivan to support this concern. But I think that's alarmism. There is no other issue out there where taking a particular political point of view so clearly equates to being perceived as discriminating against active, current customers and active, current employees.

Right-leaning execs can safely continue to support Republicans, oppose Obamacare, fight climate change legislation, and not only am I okay with that, their employees and shareholders will be as well. But this is different. You don't want to be the CEO of a company that employs gays, deals with their benefits, and has gays among its customers and say, I'm in favor of laws that deprive you of the rights I take for granted. It's a particular set of circumstances. I mean, you can, but it's obviously bad for business, as the Mozilla board recognized. Greater societal alarm over this is not warranted.

Here's the NYT link. Check it out: http://bits.blogs.nytimes.com/2014/04/04/why-mozillas-chief-had-to-resign/?_php=true&_type=blogs&_r=0

Fen said...

However the difference with the Communists’ agenda is that no one is going to be forced to become gay or change their religious beliefs, just don't impose them on others. Taking wedding photographs of a lesbian couple doesn't mean you are advocating for homosexuality

1) "no one is going to be forced to change their beliefs"

2) forcing you to bake a wedding cake is not forcing you to change your beliefs.

Love what you did there: blanket assertion that x won't happen, with qualifiers that x is not x.

I call bullshit.

John said...

Why is there a Joe McCarthy tag? What did he have to do with any blacklisting?

McCarthy wasn't even in the Senate when the contempt citations came down.

The blacklist was the result of the HOUSE Committee on Unamerican Activities. It was the HOUSE that investigated private citizens. It was a result of being found in contempt by the House that the Hollywood 10 were blacklisted.

The 10 were found in contempt in 1947. McCarthy was first elected to the Senate in 48 and took his seat in 49, almost 2 years later.

I don't know what is taught in Con Law but I would have thought it would touch on things like the McCarthy hearings and the HCUA (A/K/A HUAC) hearings.

I would have expected you to know better and perhaps use a correct tag. I suggest that you change it.

John Henry

Tamaay said...

I find Angelyne a bigot and a bully. Reading her comments over the years, she comes across as a pair of fangs on legs. Her 'intelligence' is highly overrated. It will be interesting to see if this makes it through moderation.

John said...

I should also point out that McCarthy's Senate subcommittee investigated govt employees with security clearances. The goal was to find out if they posed a security risk.

Many did.

McCarthy did not investigate private citizens for their political views. That was the House that did that.

We could argue about McCarthy's methods (ably assisted by his attack dog Robert Kennedy) but it seems to me that investigating security risks of govt employees and contractors is a perfectly legitimate function of government.

What the House did, investigating private citizens, not employed by govt, for their political views seems unforgivable. And it went on for 30 years.

Yet somehow it gets branded as "McCarthyism".

You, Ann, of all people should not fall into that trap.

John Henry

sdharms said...

Alex says "Communists never hated whole classes of people." Really? Someone should tell that to Stalin. He thought he did a pretty good job of going after classes of people.

rcocean said...

"Communists never hated whole classes of people"

LoL! Yes, other than the "bourgeois" the "Kulaks" "counter-revolutionaries" and "Fascists" all whom were to be "liquidated".

Michael said...

Tamaay

Quick with the "bigot" i see. And the "bully ".

In which comment you demonstrate, again and clearly, the open mind of the undereducated left, schooled in the meanie face and the use of words that once might have meant something.

Michael said...

John Stodder

They forced out a CEO without a successor. They brought him in because they couldnt find anyone with the technical background they required (he invented Javascript. A fairly big deal). 11 days later he was out for a crime he committed six years earlier. Not much diligence shown there by the board, was there? Now they will have to hire a search firm to comb through the candidates that were previously surfaced to see if they can coax someone on board. This is known as a clusterfuck. Their new candidate will be first and foremost a cultural warrior or a competent candidate?

Mercifully this is a non profit group with a dying brand and the business stupidity displayed here will not spread.

Anonymous said...

The hard core right sees looming McCarthyism, as if every politically incorrect position taken by an executive will result in his or her firing. She points to a similar comment by Andrew Sullivan to support this concern. But I think that's alarmism. There is no other issue out there where taking a particular political point of view so clearly equates to being perceived as discriminating against active, current customers and active, current employees.

Did McCarthy have some other issue besides Communism? Otherwise I'm not not seeing how it only being a single issue stops it being McCarthyism.

chickenlittle said...

Alex wrote: Communists never hated whole classes of people.

This seems incredibly naive.

jr565 said...

"E.g.: You seem to think Eich's position represents no-harm/no-foul to anybody else, it's just one man, all by his lonesome, exercising his free speech rights and then being oppressed unfairly."
Prop 8 was passed by a majority. If you overturn it you are undermining the will of the majority that voted for it. That's a harm, my friend.
What restriction, by the way isn't a harm to those facing the restriction? You think if there's a law against polygamy that it doesn't harm polygamists? I don't see how you could pass a restriction without harming those you restrict.
If the drinking age is 21 you're harming anyone under 21 who wants a drink. Is the fact that someone can't drink who's underage suddenly a civil right movement?

jr565 said...

"Communists never hated whole classes of people"
They even hated each other. Think of Stalinists versus Trotskyites and remember the ice pick in trotskys skull

chickenlittle said...

Tamaay said...
I find Angelyne a bigot and a bully. Reading her comments over the years, she comes across as a pair of fangs on legs. Her 'intelligence' is highly overrated. It will be interesting to see if this makes it through moderation.

I respectfully disagree. I too have been reading Angelyne for years and find her intelligent and often funny.

n.n said...

It is more closely analogous to the protection racket run by modern civil rights businesses, which are a front for left-wing political, economic, and social interests. Since there are now left-wing ideologues protesting, this can only mean that their consensus is even more fragile than previously known.

As for McCarthyism, the Cold war was a cultural war fought to mitigate the proliferation of left-wing regimes under communist and socialist flags. However, it is unfortunate that philosophies could not be discussed on their merits.

Jim S. said...

I imagine Prop 8 opponents would argue that the blacklisted groups are not equivalent. Communists are opposed to capitalists, that is, people with different political views. Prop 8 supporters are opposed to homosexuals who have no control over their sexuality. This isn't really the case, and of course one could easily deny that homosexuality is entirely genetic, but I would suspect that Prop 8 opponents would give an answer along these lines.

chickenlittle said...

They forced out a CEO without a successor. They brought him in because they couldnt find anyone with the technical background they required (he invented Javascript. A fairly big deal). 11 days later he was out for a crime he committed six years earlier. Not much diligence shown there by the board, was there? Now they will have to hire a search firm to comb through the candidates that were previously surfaced to see if they can coax someone on board. This is known as a clusterfuck. Their new candidate will be first and foremost a cultural warrior or a competent candidate?

Even though it's an American company hiring mostly Americans (presumably), I can't help but wish them a few hard knocks.

They dealt it, they can take it.

Anonymous said...

Hmm, well, Communists were evil enemies of the US who supported a regime that murdered millions, and Prop 8 Supporters were ordinary Americans who supported a proposition that won in CA in 2008.

So I can totally see why a "liberal" would think it's bad to blacklist Communists, and good to blacklist Prop 8 supporters.

Anonymous said...

"I'm sorry, I've read what you said to me, and I'm not seeing it."

I think I know why.

" You don't want to be the CEO of a company that employs gays, deals with their benefits, and has gays among its customers and say, I'm in favor of laws that deprive you of the rights I take for granted."

Obviously you didn't understand what you read.

If you had, you'd appreciate what she writes more.

tim in vermont said...

"Anti-Communist charges were originally used to justify slavery,…"

HA HA HA! So the genocide in the Ukraine was justified then?

"Communism never hated a whole class of people" WFF???

As the Russian Jews. Ask the Cambodians. Oh wait, you will have to dig up the mass graves first...

Civilis said...

You don't want to be the CEO of a company that employs gays, deals with their benefits, and has gays among its customers and say, I'm in favor of laws that deprive you of the rights I take for granted. It's a particular set of circumstances. I mean, you can, but it's obviously bad for business, as the Mozilla board recognized.

You don't want to be the CEO of a company that employs Christians or conservatives, deals with their benefits, and has Christians or conservatives among its customers and say, I'm in favor of laws that deprive you of the rights I take for granted.

So, by this logic, any CEO that comes out in support of the firing of the Mozilla CEO should be fired. The problem is, you've started a very slippery slope. Most conservatives here have a reasonable belief that you want to deny them their freedom of speech in the form of being able to support political causes, which is a fundamental civil right. They haven't yet come to the logical conclusion that they can now call on your company to fire you, or they choose not to start down that road yet. As soon as this form of political warfare becomes legitimate, how long will your job last?

Right now, only a handful of causes bring political pressure to bear to fire people that oppose them. Conservatives, so far, generally react by supporting those they agree with rather than attacking those they disagree with (see Chik-fil-a). If everyone reacted offensively, the country would collapse into feuding groups.

Rusty said...

. Prop 8 supporters are opposed to homosexuals who have no control over their sexuality.

No they opposed gay marriage.

If they can't control themselves perhaps we need to rethink their whole "rights" agenda.

pst314 said...

Alex "Communists never hated whole classes of people."

That's an especially hilarious lie when told in the context of this blog post, because Communists traditionally were very intolerant of gays.

Paco Wové said...

Hauling the rusty old "two kinds of people" trope out of the toolshed, it appears we have two kinds of people in the country: those who think it's fine and dandy for people to lose non-political jobs for expressing political opinions – mainstream opinions – and those who don't.

I wonder if perhaps those who don't are concentrated more among certain (older) age groups, as we codgers had more contemporary experience with the effects of blatantly totalitarian thought.

Anglelyne said...

John Stodder: I'm sorry, I've read what you said to me, and I'm not seeing it. Your argument, no matter how elegantly phrased, comes down to, "I don't like gay marriage."

It's not surprising that you don't see it, since apparently you aren't even able to grasp that the issue under debate here isn't your or my opinion on gay marriage.

Anglelyne said...

Tamaay: I find Angelyne a bigot and a bully. Reading her comments over the years, she comes across as a pair of fangs on legs.

Aaaand?

I mean, it's flattering to my ego and all that you think me and my feeeeeelings relevant to the debate, but, well, they're not.

Her 'intelligence' is highly overrated.

I concur. But I'm nearing retirement age, and need to keep up the pretense for a few more years.

It will be interesting to see if this makes it through moderation.

Oh hell, Tamaay, don't be such a drama queen. Althouse doesn't censor me for calling her stupid, why would she censor you for calling me stupid? As far as I can see, she only puts the hammer down on repetitive thread-killing boors/bores/psychos, and only when they're making themselves real pains in the arse and ruining everyone else's fun. As a good hostess does.

Pettifogger said...

I'm not sympathetic to the witch hunt the PC crowd is engaging in, but an important distinction seems to me that Communism is not an immutable characteristic, whereas homosexuality most likely is. I'm not completely convinced that sexual-orientation discrimination is perfectly analogous to race discrimination, but it's certainly closer to it than political-viewpoint discrimination.

Jason said...

Clearly, someone with such beliefs creates a problem that is best addressed through separation.

Stop.

Stop. And. Think. About. This. Libtard. Fascist. Shit.

John Stodder said...

Stop.

Stop. And. Think. About. This. Libtard. Fascist. Shit.


No, you stop and think. This is not a school we're talking about, where all beliefs should be welcomed. This is a company. With employees. Vendors. Customers. In Silicon Valley, where gay equality and marriage equality are part of the culture. What's hard for you is that culture is increasingly becoming the ubiquitous business culture, but for now, let's focus on the tech world.

Why should a company take the hit for having chosen as its leader, someone who says they are not only okay with making gays second-class citizens, but it willing to spend money to keep them there?

To find that unwise is neither "fascist" nor "libtard." It's hard-headed realism. Given where you apparently are coming from, why should anyone gay want to do business with you? I gather you wouldn't give a fuck. Fine. Have a small business with a small customer base. If I'm looking for someone to head my growing, big, ambitious company, you know what? I'm going to choose someone who doesn't piss off a crucial segment of my customers, vendors and employees by declaring them second-class citizens. I'm funny that way. I want to make profits, not show off to Rush Limbaugh.

John Stodder said...

It's not surprising that you don't see it, since apparently you aren't even able to grasp that the issue under debate here isn't your or my opinion on gay marriage.

Right, you think it's about free speech. But Eich's free speech was not abridged. He got heard. And people reacted, in this instance by saying, "Given the cultural shifts in the US, and specifically within our industry, your freely-expressed beliefs make you an outlier who will cost us money. You think gays don't deserve the same rights as non-gays, and you are entitled to have that belief. However, we have gays working here, and gay customers and gay vendors, and we have a bunch of straight people in those categories who agree with the gay customers, vendors and employees that this kind of discrimination is contrary to what we stand for as a company. So with all due respect to your First Amendment right to believe what you apparently believe, to support that cause with money, you can do that, but not as an employee of this company."

Shorter version, it's about freedom of association. They have the right to say Eich's views make crucial company stakeholders uncomfortable and thus he can't be the public face of the company.

This is not alarming. Indeed, it is probably done every day somewhere in America, and not just on behalf of "the left" or any of your other bugaboos.

chickenlittle said...

John Stodder said...

Right, you think it's about free speech. But Eich's free speech was not abridged. He got heard. And people reacted, in this instance by saying, "Given the cultural shifts in the US, and specifically within our industry, your freely-expressed beliefs make you an outlier who will cost us money.

But it is about free speech and precedent. When the "Duck Dynasty" flap occurred, the GLAAD handers tried to squelch the show. They lost.

In this case, it's a precedent that says "keep your mouth shut about your opinions or get fired." Full stop. That's loathsome, Stodder.

We both live in California, John. My guess is that you live in an art bubble, surrounded by like-thinkers. If you think that that is the fastest growing segment of California, think again.

Marshal said...

I'm going to choose someone who doesn't piss off a crucial segment of my customers, vendors and employees by declaring them second-class citizens.

What's most amusing about Stoddard is his concurrent beliefs that (a) blacklists are acceptable in response to "bigotry", and (b) gay marriage is the only issue of its type and therefore thinking this will extend beyond gay marriage is obviously wrong.

How can anyone not understand the left characterizes every single poltiical disagreement as bigotry? It's just bizarre people don't consider their own comments for even a second.

Paco Wové said...

Stodder:

All verbiage aside, you are apparently fine with the whole blacklisting thing.
I had thought better of you, and am disappointed.

Unknown said...

---All verbiage aside, you are apparently fine with the whole blacklisting thing.
I had thought better of you, and am disappointed. --

Yes, you really find out who would go Nazi at times like this.

John Stodder said...

Stodder:

All verbiage aside, you are apparently fine with the whole blacklisting thing.


Eich was not blacklisted. Using that word for what's happened at Mozilla is fully the equal of the left crying racism everytime Obama is criticized. It's insane hyperbole. As I said and you can't possibly challenge on a factual basis, CEOs and other leaders normally watch what they say and do in EVERY company, per the prevailing culture of that company and its stakeholders. They have "free speech" just like you or me, but given their title and responsibilities, they aren't completely free to exercise it -- for quotidian business reasons, not because the dark night of fascism is descending. You are making way too much of this, and doing so in a perfect mirror image of the left.

I'm disappointed too, at the hysteria of the supposedly reasonable right, and at the right's inability to see that its continued campaign against gay marriage and gay equality has no rational or Constitutional basis.

I generally am with those elements of the right that base their critique of the left on Constitutional principles. But your issue with gays seems to trump that. And that's deeply disappointing, not just because you folks aren't who I thought you were, but it also means you're conceding way too much electoral ground to the left. They will win lots of elections they don't deserve to win because you're so steeped in this pedantic insistence that the definition of marriage came from God and cannot be changed. Look for Dems to win elections from here to eternity until the GOP finally gives up this particularly obnoxious ghost. Which they will, that's the killer. Your side of the issue has no future. But you'll send the country into bankruptcy insisting otherwise.

John said...

Still got the Joe McCarthy tag I see, Ann.

Why?

Who was ever blacklisted because of McCarthy?


John Henry

John said...

Re the various people who said that Mozilla has a right to do what they did:

Absent any employment laws being broken, I fully agree.

I too have some rights. One of them is to switch from Firefox, which I have been using since v 1.0 (15 years?) and move to Comodo Dragon.

4 days in and finding it much peppier than Firefox anyway. Should have switched long ago just for performance reasons.

http://www.comodo.com/home/download/download.php?prod=browser

John Henry

Paco Wové said...

I don't think I have an "issue with gays", nor an issue with gay marriage. I do have an issue with baying mobs and mob rule. If you consider that 'insane hyperbole', then I guess we have a fundamental difference of opinion.

Anglelyne said...

John Stodder: I generally am with those elements of the right that base their critique of the left on Constitutional principles. But your issue with gays seems to trump that. And that's deeply disappointing, not just because you folks aren't who I thought you were, but it also means you're conceding way too much electoral ground to the left.They will win lots of elections they don't deserve to win because you're so steeped in this pedantic insistence that the definition of marriage came from God and cannot be changed.

I've often been surprised by the way some people are so emotionally overwrought by certain issues that it disables their reading comprehension and throws a spanner in their basic logic processes, but you, John, are a wonder to behold. Getting you to understand that your "arguments" here are exercises in question-begging is probably a lost cause, but when, pray tell, did Paco find God and turn anti-gay marriage?

Jason said...

Libtard logic: yes, Mozilla has a right to fire a CEO for adhering to a basic tenet of the Christian faith for thousands of years.

Florists, photogrophers and bakers do not, however, have a right to decline serving a gay wedding.

We deal with differences of opinion through "separation."

No, libtard. We will not go to your ghetto.

John Stodder said...

Angelyne, I'm going to try to parse your purportedly intelligent commentary:

I've often been surprised by the way some people are so emotionally overwrought by certain issues that it disables their reading comprehension and throws a spanner in their basic logic processes, but you, John, are a wonder to behold.

Where have I been emotional? Have I called anyone a Nazi? Have I risen to the bait when others called me a Nazi? You can't find a single thing I've said in here that demonstrates some kind of emotional response. All I've basically said is, stop freaking out, this isn't blacklisting, McCarthyism, etc., against people who are in an absolute panic.

Getting you to understand that your "arguments" here are exercises in question-begging is probably a lost cause,

Well, since I'm essentially arguing for the status quo, I'm not sure you've put the burden in the right place. I think you're projecting, frankly. You start from the premise that it is okay to discriminate against gays with regard to marriage. I've asked, politely and unemotionally, for an explanation as to why this is okay. No one on the two threads on this topic in which I've participated has provided any answer other than a variation on: "Marriage has always been defined as between a man and a woman, and because that has been its definition for a very long time, it simply cannot be changed."

Talk about arguing from a conclusion! Why can't it be changed?

The seeds for the change in this country do, indeed, come from the 14th amendment, which, when written, obviously didn't contemplate gay marriage. But the plain language of the amendment says the state can't deprive anybody of equal protection under the law.

So, my second point is again, a question. Where do you find in this language an exemption for the legal institution called marriage.

And the answer keeps coming back as if I've got a defective dictionary. Marriage IS man/woman, and nothing else. It's not a legal institution. It's a word. The word means what we say it means, and nothing else.

Okay, fine, that's not particularly persuasive, but given the emotion some people have concerning homosexuality, it suffices for those who are already deeply into defense of traditional marriage. But, the problem is, it DOESN'T suffice for gays themselves. From their perspective, and from the perspective of civil libertarians who agree with gays on this topic, it sounds a lot like "separate but equal."

Which means that from the perspective of gays and civil libertarian straights, a CEO who seeks to overturn gay marriage equality is advocating discrimination.

You disagree, obviously. He is just enjoying "free speech." But when the programmatic result of your free speech is to justify deprivation of a Constitutional right, that becomes an untenable position, when that person lives in a cultural community where tolerance of gays prevails and discrimination is marginalized.

Increasingly, that "cultural community" is the United States of America. That's the trend anyway.

In that light, it makes sense what happened. It's not a blacklist. It's a statement against discrimination in which there is actual harm to persons.

Please continue with your critique of my reasoning. But please also, when you get a minute, MAKE YOUR DAMN ARGUMENT FOR DISCRIMINATION. This is a phony argument without it.

Jason said...

Angelyne is a bully. She's a critical thinker and won't let you liberals get away with logical fallacies and you think it's bullying, because you're a lazy, sloppy thinker.

Meanwhile, you are part of a baying, howling mob of orcs who cost a decent man his job and you're accusing others of bullying?

John Stodder said...

I do have an issue with baying mobs and mob rule. If you consider that 'insane hyperbole', then I guess we have a fundamental difference of opinion.

No, I hate baying mobs and mob rule too. This decision was made, however, by the board of directors of a non-profit. I believe they were wearing suits at the time. I don't recall hearing them bay. The more operative cliche would be "behind closed doors."

The mobs on this issue clearly are on your side. Apparently lots of people are unplugging Firefox, which is their right, and should have been expected.

Would you consider it mob rule if the board now rescinded its decision in the face of this protest?

Paco Wové said...

"Would you consider it mob rule if the board now rescinded its decision in the face of this protest?"

Spineless vacillation from a bunch of craven flakes, more like. But that's neither here nor there, since I doubt it will happen.

"The mobs on this issue clearly are on your side."

Really? Our views of reality appear to be diverging with ever-increasing speed. Maybe time will tell who was closer to the mark.

chickenlittle said...

John Stodder wrote: They will win lots of elections they don't deserve to win because you're so steeped in this pedantic insistence that the definition of marriage came from God and cannot be changed.

I think marriage is defined as between a man and a woman for religious people. You're hoping that significant numbers of them will die off and the whole antiquated definition will die with them. Unfortunately for you and your cause, there is a free exercise clause which will come back to haunt you as you march headlong into the "right" side of history.

Douglas said...

Mr. Stoddard: To return to the professor's question, it seems that you agree with the analogy. You think that supporting traditional marriage is evil and that therefore it's justified for a company to fire its CEO for such support. That being so, you must also believe that it was justified for the Hollywood producers to fire and blacklist writers and actors for the evil of supporting international communism. At least that would be consistent.

John Stodder said...

You're hoping that significant numbers of (religious people) will die off and the whole antiquated definition will die with them.

And you think I argue illogically?

When did I say anything close to that?

Anglelyne said...

John Stodder: Well, since I'm essentially arguing for the status quo, I'm not sure you've put the burden in the right place. I think you're projecting, frankly. You start from the premise that it is okay to discriminate against gays with regard to marriage. I've asked, politely and unemotionally, for an explanation as to why this is okay. No one on the two threads on this topic...
[...]
But the plain language of the [14th] amendment says the state can't deprive anybody of equal protection under the law.
[...]
But please also, when you get a minute, MAKE YOUR DAMN ARGUMENT FOR DISCRIMINATION. This is a phony argument without it.


John, I am deeply puzzled by your claim that any argument about the tolerance of dissenting beliefs is "phony" until your opponents have accepted all your premises about the rightness or wrongness of the beliefs in question. (On the other hand, I am amused by the Humpty-Dumpty evasions you deploy in its defense: “if I hold the status quo position I get to assume my conclusions”, lol.)

What we are arguing about here is whether it was right for Mr. Eich to be fired for being against gay marriage, that is, for his political views - we are arguing about the limits of our tolerance for dissenting views, not whether the dissenter is wrong in his views, or his defense of his views satisfactory to the commissars. You have come down squarely on the side of those who think it's OK to sack someone because you don't like his political views, advancing arguments for why his views are so harmful that he deserves sacking. Fine. Own it. You are apparently ashamed enough of your position that you keep trying to muddle the issue by endless digressions re your opinion on the validity of gay marriage per se.

You start from the premise that it is okay to discriminate against gays with regard to marriage.

One more time: No, John, this is your premise. That not allowing gays to marry constitutes unconstitutional discrimination under the equal protection clause of the 14th amendment is the premise of proponents of gay marriage, not its opponents. Geez, do I have to explicate your own premises for you?

I'm starting to think that the problem here is that you don't know what a “premise” is.

Where have I been emotional?

Let's see. Babbling away at non-religious, pro-gay marriage Paco about his "issue with gays" and "pedantic insistence that the definition of marriage came from God and cannot be changed". I'd say that's a pretty good sign of someone letting his emotions interfere with his reason.

That weird digression you just got into about the “baying mob” metaphor not applying to your guys 'cause they're wearing suits. OK, whatever.

Kicking it up a notch from assuming your conclusions (an honest rhetorical mistake) to DEMANDING IN ALL CAPS THAT YOUR OPPONENTS ASSUME YOUR CONCLUSIONS (crazy talk).

Shall I go on?

John Stodder said...

You have come down squarely on the side of those who think it's OK to sack someone because you don't like his political views, advancing arguments for why his views are so harmful that he deserves sacking. Fine. Own it

I would own it, if that's what I was saying.

The concern implicit in Althouse's statement at the top of this thread is that Mr. Eich was fired because he was blacklisted.

If he had been fired because he was blacklisted, I would oppose that. I own that position, not the one you have mistakenly ascribed to me.

He was fired because Mozilla's board perceived that taking the position he took -- which whether you agree or not, is perceived by many other people, including customers and employees of Mozilla as discriminatory and contrary to equal protection under the law -- would offend said employees, customers and vendors.

Thus making it a business decision, not a blacklisting decision. They clearly didn't do this to win back the dating website that first publicized this matter. They did it for internal reasons.

There are going to be businesses where being perceived as anti-gay is a disqualifier.

You reject the premise that sending money to the Prop 8 campaign equates to being anti-gay. Indeed you act surprised that anyone would draw such a conclusion, and challenge me to reconsider this assumption rather than building an argument on it.

That would be an irrelevant exercise, however, because whether or not I believe it is possible for someone to be anti-gay marriage but otherwise kindly disposed toward homosexuals has no bearing on the question that faced Mozilla board members who made this decision.

What I've been saying is that within many communities in this country, the fine and difficult distinction you purport should be the actual premise for all such discussions, e.g. "I am opposed to gay marriage, but I do not favor discrimination," won't fly. At least we know it didn't fly in Mozilla's world, where they have to live and make decisions in the best interest of the company.

I will try again to open your mind a little on why it is not nearly as fanciful to equate opposition to gay marriage with an attitude of discrimination as you seem to think.

Let's say you're gay. And let's say you don't intend ever to get married, for whatever reason. The opposition to gay marriage is still a problem for you, because it consigns you, in the states where the ban still exists, to a form of second-class citizenship that relates directly and indeed only to your sexual preference.

If you're a customer or employee of Mozilla, it is possible you don't want to be viewed that way by your boss, in part because it offends you, but also because it seems to violate a core constitutional principle that is supposed to apply to everyone -- but that your boss thinks you should be excepted from.

For some companies, for an increasing number apparently, that's not tenable.

Jason said...

http://www.vtzlawblog.com/2014/04/articles/discrimination/termination-of-mozilla-ceo-likely-violated-california-law/

It is illegal in California to fire an employee because he or she contributed to a political campaign. Full stop. There is no exception written into the law for senior management.

It wouldn't be difficult for Eich to claim constructive discharge, except he wrote in a statement that under the circumstances, he cannot be an effective leader.

But who's fault was that?